More signed up for Obamacare in first two days of December than in all of October

December 4, 2013
(Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters)
(Mike Segar/Reuters)

Consider this Obamacare's December deluge: More people bought health insurance through HealthCare.gov in the first two days of December than in all of October.

Politico reported moments ago that 29,000 people have enrolled in coverage through HealthCare.gov since Sunday, when a big set of fixes went into place. That would beat out the 26,000 people who purchased coverage in October.

In a way, this is actually pretty close to what the White House projected. For months leading up to the law's rollout, officials there would tell you that they expected very slow enrollment in October, followed by a slightly faster pace in November. As shoppers edged closer to the December deadline for purchasing coverage that starts in January, they expected things to move even quicker.

Of course, what they did not project were crippling technical problems in the health law's first two months, which would make it near impossible for many to purchase coverage. The administration initially expected that about a half-million people would sign up in October. It's fair to say they did not come anywhere near that goal.

Whether that initial miss will actually matter for total enrollment numbers remains to be seen. My own reporting suggests it really won't: The people out there who want health insurance are pretty hellbent on getting it. I've talked to dozens of insurance shoppers and some who are really frustrated by the technical problems they've encountered.

When I ask them what they plan to do next, they usually give the same answer: I'll keep trying. I haven't talked to anyone who has said, I give up. The ones who had trouble in October are probably the ones who are turning up on the Web site now — and will keep turning up later this month, too.

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Evan Soltas · December 4, 2013